Mind Your Health: Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Disease, and Mental Health

When building a treatment plan for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, you should focus on your mental health and physical condition.

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Transcript

00:00
So it's really important to remember that treating our mental health is a really important tool in our toolbox to treat our whole human health,
00:06
especially when it comes to chronic disease management. [LIGHTHEARTED MUSIC] Mental health is critical to our whole body health,
00:15
and it's especially important for anyone dealing with chronic conditions. Often we have spent so much time separating the mind from the body,
00:23
and it's like taking care of physical things, taking care of mental things. We really can't separate the two. It's really the whole person, the whole human.
00:29
Let's talk about ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and mental health. When patients are first diagnosed with either of these conditions, they
00:37
can struggle with mental health issues. What have you seen, Dr. Judd? Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease can bring upon many mental health issues.
00:44
Some things we heard from patients are-- "my anxiety and depression prevent me from getting the regular checkups I need;" 'if I stress or worry too much, it causes my ulcerative colitis
00:53
to flare up." In our survey, 77% of respondents reported having symptoms of major depressive disorder
00:59
or anxiety. That's a pretty large number. How exactly does anxiety affect individuals with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease?
01:07
DR. JUDD: Managing UC and Crohn's disease can become even more of a challenge with these conditions. Anxiety and depression increased flareups and complications
01:15
of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and they can render treatment unsuccessful. Depression and anxiety can also be reactions
01:22
to the physical symptoms of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Symptoms of UC Crohn's can include abdominal pain,
01:28
chronic diarrhea, fatigue, general weakness, and these are things that can make it difficult to live your life. So how can individuals manage their anxiety and depression
01:37
while also managing their ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease? When building a treatment plan, you should focus on treating both your mental health
01:45
and your physical symptoms-- the whole human. Managing your anxiety can also look like this-- practicing relaxing breathing exercises,
01:53
light exercise like swimming or walking, journaling, reading, and guided imagery, and of course meditation.
01:59
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed or lost when ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease seems to be controlling your life.
02:05
But talk to your health care provider about what steps you can take, and together you can get your disease under control.

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